Have you noticed a slow but steady decline in your organic reach on Facebook? If your answer is yes, rest assured that you are not alone. While that assurance may not make you feel much better, the good news is this decline is not a content problem, it’s a platform problem … and we are all in it together. So what’s the solution?
Let’s start at the beginning. The good ol’ days of being a Facebook marketer are gone, and they have been for two years. In 2012, Facebook introduced the Facebook Exchange, a way for companies to purchase ads through real-time bidding. You might also remember that was the year the social media network was closing in on having 1 billion registered users.
Enter organic reach’s demise.
In the fourth quarter of 2013, Facebook generated $2.34 billion in advertising revenue. On its tenth birthday last month, Facebook had 1.23 billion users – that’s 230 million new users since January 2012! And what’s been happening to your brand’s content? It’s been viewed by a smaller and smaller percentage of your audience.
According to AdAge, Facebook has stated, “We expect organic distribution of an individual page’s posts to gradually decline over time as we continually work to make sure people have a meaningful experience on the site.” The fact of the matter is your Facebook content isn’t just competing with your competitors’ in a finite space. It is also competing with content from every other brand page your audience members like, as well as the content your audience members’ friends are sharing.
Last summer, Facebook gave marketers some insight into the competition they are facing. Every time a user visits the News Feed there are, on average, 1,500 potential stories to see. Using a priority-ranking algorithm, Facebook shows an average of 300 stories out of the 1,500 to each user every day.
As the number of Facebook users continues to grow, the number of published stories also grows. Facebook’s News Feed has reached the point where there is far more content available than its users are able to consume. And since Facebook is a social network built for users – not marketers – content from brand pages is what’s getting pushed out of the News Feed most often.
That is, unless a brand pays to play.
Facebook ads are the solution to brands’ plummeting organic reach numbers. As Facebook’s number of users continues to grow, marketers wanting to maximize the reach of their content must be prepared to implement a paid distribution strategy.
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